Lisa Pofelski-Rosa ~ Principal Bass in Central Oregon Symphony Orchestra

(Lisa Pofelski-Rosa | Photo courtesy of Central Oregon Symphony Orchestra)

So many musicians follow the lead of their musical families — inspired and encouraged by their piano-teacher mothers, their saxophone dad, their brass playing older sibling.

Not for Lisa Pofelski-Rosa, principal cellist for the Central Oregon Symphony. Music arrived in fourth grade, when her school offered an after-school music program — the intent of which was to develop future musicians for the high school orchestra.  And it came with a free cello.

Laurie Vanderhyde, a violinist for the Boise Philharmonic, collected unused instruments and brought them to lunch recesses at Lisa’s middle school, where the music program had been cut. Lisa remembers the day Vanderhyde took out her violin and start playing for the students. That was it. “I want to do this!”

It was cello until high school when the solo bass player was graduating and Lisa grabbed the chance to tackle the orchestra’s big string. With the bass came an interest in jazz and it’s free, no fuss, creative flow. Lisa was a natural and it was jazz that got her a two-year scholarship to Clackamas Community College.

Fast forward to Bend, two children, a step-daughter, a bachelor of science in business administration and accounting (there was no music education degree offered in Bend) and the Central Oregon Symphony. Lisa admits her symphony participation was sporadic at first, fitting in between babies and college. And now that the children are older, she relishes being able to bring music to the forefront.

As for being principal chair, she admits that was on her bucket list. She loves the responsibility that position holds — be it dictating bowing and articulation, inspiring newer players and just adding that deep vibrating sound to the “beautiful symphony puzzle.”  As for the larger orchestra, Lisa said, “No one has to be here. We are an exciting melting pot of musical souls…. inspired by a forgiving, challenging, inspirational conductor.”

Inspiration got her started and inspiration will keep Lisa Pofelski-Rosa playing… forever.

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